Speaking to the media, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut on Tuesday put the onus on both BJP and TMC for the post-poll violence in West Bengal. According to him, the Election Commission was still responsible for maintaining law and order as the new government will be sworn in on Wednesday. Maintaining that no party can distance itself from the culture of political violence in WB, he appealed that everyone should join hands in the fight against the COVID-19 crisis. Reportedly, at least 11 persons were killed in the violence which includes members of BJP, TMC and ISF.
On this occasion, he also agreed with WB CM Mamata Banerjee's suggestion that all anti-BJP parties can come together to challenge BJP in the 2024 General Election. During her post-victory press conference, she hinted at holding a rally at the Brigade Parade Ground where leaders from other states can be called. Raut highlighted that Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and NCP president Sharad Pawar had also pitched the same idea. However, he refused to speculate on who would lead such a diverse coalition of parties.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut remarked, "People have given a huge Mandate to Mamata Banerjee and her party. First, it is the responsibility of TMC leaders to calm down people. But it takes two to tango."
"The history of West Bengal is replete with political violence. Everyone knows that no party can distance itself from this. But today there is a COVID-19 crisis. So, it is imperative to forget everything and work together," he added.
After a hard-fought election campaign, TMC sprung a surprise by decisively winning the West Bengal election by bagging 213 seats whereas BJP could win in only 77 constituencies. The voter turnout for the seats that went to the polls in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth phases was 84.63 per cent, 86.11 per cent, 84.61 per cent, 79.90 per cent, 82.49 per cent, 79.11 per cent, 76.90 per cent and 78.32 per cent respectively. While the JP Nadda-led party won 74 more seats than the previous election, its vote share of 38.13% could not pose a challenge to TMC which garnered a vote share of 47.94%.
While the ruling party bettered its performance compared to 2016, it suffered a minor blip as WB CM Mamata Banerjee lost from Nandigram to her BJP opponent Suvendu Adhikari. However, barring the Nandigram MLA, most other TMC leaders who had switched over to BJP prior to the election could not win their seats. Even ex-nominated Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta, Union Minister Babul Supriyo and BJP Lok Sabha MP Locket Chatterjee had to face defeat. On the other hand, the Left-Congress-ISF alliance was routed failing to win even a single seat in the polls. Banerjee will take oath as the CM for the third time on May 5.